The lights burned early at Art Sanders Field. Not long into the afternoon, the lights that illuminate Friday night’s contests were turned on. As dusk creeped its way over fields of corn and chalk, those beacons brightened. In the middle of the heartland, those light poles rose far above all that surrounds them, calling to the fans, and beckoning them to come watch the boys of fall.
Burning just as brightly were the Senators, as they tore through the Rams en route to a 43-0 victory to move to 4-0 on the season.
“We came out focused, took control of the game early, and executed at a very high level,” said Head Coach Keith Nance.
It didn’t take the Senators long to get started. After a big return by sophomore running back Ethan Roberts, the Senators took just 28 seconds off the clock before senior running back Bobby Stevens found paydirt from 12-yard out.
Paoli looked to be in business on their first drive after returning the kickoff to the Senator 35, but sophomore safety Roper McPheeters ended the drive with a big hit tackle for a loss and then a couple plays later intercepting the Paoli quarterback in the end zone.
Three plays later, McPheeters would find a gaping hole in the Rams defense and sprint 53 yards to give the Senators a 16-0 edge. Senior tight end Glen Rankin would lay the key block on the Ram’s safety to set up the scoring run.
The teams traded possessions, and after the Senators forced a 3 and out, senior quarterback Holden Bowsman would follow a great kick out block by senior guard Jerren Roll and a great lead block by senior tackle Mike Leach into the endzone from 8 yards out.
Senior defensive end Jacob Strange came up with a big sack on the ensuing possession to help end Paoli’s drive, and McPheeters would score his second touchdown, outracing several Paoli defenders on an 85 yard run. This time the other side of the line blew a hole open in the Ram defensive front, as senior Landon Pearson laid a punishing kick out block and senior Bryce Brown laid the key block to spring McPheeters.
Paoli found some success through the air on their next possession, but made a costly mistake as Bowsman picked the ball in stride from his safety possession and sprinted undaunted to the end zone from 60 yards out.
“It is always nice to get a defensive score,” said defensive coordinator Mark Gibson. “You can tell our defense was antsy to get a score through the first 4 games, and they were excited to get it done.”
That score would enact a running clock for the rest of the game.
Paoli started the second half with a drive that took them into the Senator red zone, but after a big sack by Bryce Brown, the Rams faced a 4th and inches and senior nose tackle Andrew Lewis made a tackle for a loss to give the Senators possession.
Bowsman would tack on his 3rd touchdown of the night on a 40-yard run to the endzone.
The Senator defense finished the game, notching their 2nd shut out of the season.
The Senators moved to 4-0 (3-0 in the PLAC) and will travel to Farmersburg to take on North Central next Friday. Kick off will be 7:30 PM.